By Murray Newlands on September 17th, 2012 | 303142 comments on this postWhy+Apple%27s+Siri+commercials+are+a+cautionary+tale+for+marketers2012-09-17+12%3A02%3A26Murray+Newlandshttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D30314
Last week, I wrote about how Apple is a master at announcing products. But the company’s marketing strategy isn’t infallible.
In a recent Monday Note blog post, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée criticizes the company’s commercials that focus on the iPhone’s Siri feature, saying they stray from the advertising and marketing plan of focusing on the product that had become quintessentially Apple.
Apple has always focused on a personal approach to marketing products. The brand makes consumers want its devices by marketing how the latest device makes users’ lives better and easier. Apple convinces consumers that they need the latest iPhone or iPad. The brand doesn’t talk about technical features — it keeps the focus on the product. Instead of talking about the processor or the screen, Apple tells consumers how they’re going to use the product and the reason it’s better than competitors’ similar products.
By Murray Newlands on September 11th, 2012 | 300333 comments on this postWhat+you+can+learn+about+making+an+announcement+from+the+marketing+geniuses+at+Apple2012-09-11+11%3A10%3A33Murray+Newlandshttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D30033
Last week, Apple sent out an invitation to media, bloggers and influencers for an event in San Francisco, in which the company hinted strongly that it would be unveiling the iPhone 5. Social media have already erupted with discussion of what the new iPhone will feature and what will be revealed at the event. It’s clear that Apple fans and media are eager to see what happens Wednesday.
Since the unveiling of the iPod, Apple has long been unbeatable in the areas of marketing and advertising and provides a perfect example of the how to employ buzz marketing successfully. The brand employs several basic, easily replicated and cheap strategies that you can use at your company.
Obviously, you need to put out a great product to create a loyal following, but simply providing a great product isn’t enough to generate a following. Before your product comes out, work with the media and create buzz. (read more…)
By Murray Newlands on August 31st, 2012 | 296633 comments on this postHow+Nestl%C3%A9%E2%80%99s+GMO+debacle+makes+the+case+for+corporate+transparency2012-08-31+11%3A25%3A54Murray+Newlandshttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D29663
This week, food-production giant Nestlé lost a legal battle in Brazilian court over its use of genetically modified organism (read: genetically modified food) ingredients. The Swiss brand fought to keep the fact that many of its ingredients are GMOs off the labels, but the court mandated that it label anything with more than 1% GMO ingredients sold within Brazil as such.
The lawsuit came as a result of public outcry regarding the safety of GMOs. Many studies have been published linking consumption of GMOs to serious health repercussions. While Nestlé’s studies show different results, the brand spent a lot of time, money and effort in Brazil fighting to keep from being required to mention on labels that its products contain GMOs.
The Brazilian lawsuit sparked further dialogue about the safety of GMO food and the transparency of companies that sell it. Facebook and Twitter have erupted in conversation about Nestlé and GMOs, including countless negative mentions of the brand. (read more…)
By Murray Newlands on August 23rd, 2012 | 292501 comment on this postProgressive+Insurance+case+study%3A+How+not+to+handle+a+PR+crisis2012-08-23+10%3A18%3A24Murray+Newlandshttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D29250
Matt Fisher posted a blog on Tumblr on Aug. 13 titled “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer in Court,” which went viral and began a firestorm of negative comments about the insurance company. Since the post, Progressive has had to offer a rebuttal, the scandal has inspired several popular memes, and the discussion has exploded on social media sites — eventually ending in Progressive feeling the heat and settling with the Fisher family.
In 2010, Matt Fisher’s sister, Katie, was killed in an auto accident by a driver who, according to every witness report, ran a red light. Katie’s killer was underinsured, but Katie held a Progressive policy that was meant to cover expenses if another driver in an accident was underinsured.
However, despite the policy agreement, Progressive declined to pay Katie’s family, and because of a Maryland law that prevents lawsuits against insurance companies when they refuse to pay under the policy for a breach of contract, the only way for Katie’s family to take action was to sue the other driver. (read more…)
By Murray Newlands on August 14th, 2012 | 288221 comment on this postProtecting+your+brand+image%3A+What+you+can+learn+from+the+mistakes+of+Chick-fil-A+and+Papa+John%27s2012-08-14+11%3A27%3A54Murray+Newlandshttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D28822
Just as the Chick-fil-A public relations disaster is finally dying down, another fast food giant has made a similar controversial political statement. Papa John’s International CEO John Schnatter was quoted as saying that costs incurred from President Barack Obama’s health care initiative would be passed on to customers to protect shareholders.
“We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry. But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare,” Schnatter said, according to Politico. “If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders’ best interests.”
Facebook and Twitter were ablaze with criticism for Schnatter and for Papa John’s after the comment, both for speaking critically of the health care law and for the company’s willingness to spare shareholders at the expense of customers. (read more…)